Date: 12th December 2005 at 2:02pm
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It’s amazing how the London press are today jumping on the bones of Alan Shearer for knocking seven bells out of an Arsenal side that has built their castle on thuggery. Let’s admit it … Arsenal ‘don’t like it up ’em’, and the 35-year-old striker enjoyed an x-rated tussle with former England team-mate Sol Campbell before setting up Nolberto Solano for a superb 82nd-minute winner to send North London into mourning.

Wenger was later less than complimentary about Shearer’s physical approach (now there’s a surpise), but Souness was delighted with his warhorse.

Souness: ‘Alan Shearer is the best centre-forward that you English have ever had of that style. I think he plays it in such a manly fashion that is great to see and extremely effective. He’s playing with his back to play. He’s not the biggest man in the world, but I doubt if there is anyone with a bigger heart.

‘He plays facing the wrong way – he’s facing his own goal 95% of the time and he’s playing against generally men who are a lot bigger than him, and most certainly a lot younger than him. You ask any centre-half, they would not enjoy his style of play because he plays it like a true man. He’s a handful for anybody and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with his style in my eyes, and I have always thought that, long before I came here.

‘We are in the north and in the north we are maybe more confrontational that other parts of the country. Alan epitomised that today. That’s part and parcel of the English game, and if Arsene’s unhappy with that….’